From staff and wire reports
JACKSON, Tenn. — The monkey that had become Union basketball is off Mountain State’s collective back.
James Spencer, the second-leading scorer in the NAIA, scored a game-high 42 points and MSU’s second-half charge led to a 100-89 win Saturday.
It was the Cougars’ first-ever victory in four tries at Union’s Fred Delay Gymnasium.
“It was a tremendous win,” MSU coach Bob Bolen said. “It’s the first time we have been able to (beat Union on the road) and it’s a real good feeling. I thought our players really wanted it in the second half when (the game) was on the line.”
MSU (7-0) led 43-42 at halftime before outscoring the Bulldogs 57-47 in the second half. Ralph Legg gave the Cougars a lift by hitting all three of his three-pointers after the break.
The Cougars won the game, and Spencer won the scoring sidebar.
Spencer is No. 2 in scoring in NAIA, behind Union’s Matt Neavile, who was averaging 30.2 points per game going in. He finished Saturday with 36, including a 9-of-25 showing on three-point attempts.
Spencer, averaging 27.2, hit eight of 15 three-pointers.
MSU had four other players score in double figures.
Adron Marshall added 21 points, Jason McGriff 15 and Tyrice Watkins 10. McGriff pulled down 14 rebounds and Jarvis Jackson 11 assists.
“I thought it was a great team effort,” Bolen said.
Tacuma Alexander added 17 points and Tony Brown 15 for the Bulldogs (4-3).
The Cougars visit WVU Tech at 8 p.m. Tuesday.